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Feng Shui Tips for the Chinese New Year

by Master Janene Laird

In this edition of Feng Shui Tips I focus on the importance of annual energies and how we can better prepare ourselves and our home to make the most of the inherent opportunities and challenges that lay ahead in the coming year.

Chinese New Year or Chun Jie (meaning Spring Festival) starts from the first day of the lunar calendar and lasts for 15 days. This festival signifies a fresh start in our life and is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture. Celebrations and traditions take place with much fanfare and include dragons, fireworks and cleaning house. These traditions are very important and ensure that any negative energy from the previous year is cleared away and the fresh, vital energy of the New Year is able to circulate throughout our homes and businesses.

Although the Lunar New Year fell on the 23rd of January this year, the shift of annual energies is always based on the Hsia or Chinese Solar calendar and thus the Year of the Water Dragon commenced on the 4th February 2012 at 18:40 hours.  Living in Singapore over the past few years has allowed me to participate in some of the wonderful traditions and customs that surround both of these events and to appreciate the benefits of receiving the auspicious energies that arrive at these times. For this I thank my teacher and mentor, Grand Master Vincent Koh.
One of the traditions that he shared with me is welcoming the annual God of Wealth, popularly known as Cai Shen 财神. The Chinese believe that those who pay respect to him will receive good fortune and blessings for the coming year. Each year Cai Shen arrives on the Lunar New Year Eve and in 2012 it was the 22nd of January at 23:00 hours from the direction of the South East. Traditionally you can visit a temple at this time to pay your respects and partake in the festivities, or alternately you can welcome his auspicious influence at home. If the latter is your preferred option then all you need do is follow these steps:
1.    Clean your home, paying particular attention to all the main Qi openings (windows and doors) that are located in the direction Cai Shen is arriving from for that year.  Start at the main entrance and work your way around in a clockwise direction. (Please note that this type of spring cleaning is best done during auspicious times and days leading up to the Lunar New Year Eve and a list of these is usually available from most reputable Masters)
2.    Ideally kaffir lime juice and leaves should be placed into the bucket of water for extra cleansing properties, but this is up to you. Alternately you can also use a few drops of Kaffir Lime Essential Oil.
3.    Place 3 tea light candles in the sector of your home that correlates with the direction of Cai Shen and open any windows or doors that are located here in order to receive the Qi into your home.
4.    Light the tea light candles a couple of minutes before Cai Shen is due to arrive.
5.    At the designated time of his arrival stand (or sit) facing towards the auspicious direction.
6.    Inhale the prosperous influences, welcome them into your home and visualize the positive goals you wish to achieve during the year in both your professional and personal life.
Another Chinese New Year tradition which my Singaporean colleague Master Jenny Ng recently shared with me is to Li Chun with Fire. Traditionally Li Chun is the day which signifies the beginning of Spring and is often celebrated with special events and ceremonies to ensure a blissful and prosperous new year. This year Li Chun arrived on the 4th of February at 18:23 hours and not only signified the beginning of Spring, but also brought the new energies for the coming year.
Once again this is an auspicious time for cleaning house and cleansing Qi openings to prepare your home to receive the auspicious annual energy for the New Year. Please ensure however that you do not activate or welcome in the Qi in sectors with the negative annualStars 2 and 5, as this can cause bad health and misfortune. Instead focus your attention on welcoming in the positive energy from the Stars 1, 6, 8 and 9; depending on the location of Qi openings in your home and what you most wish to activate in your life. Once again if you wish to observe Li Chun for next year then all you need do is follow these steps:
1.    Place tea light candles in the sectors that will welcome the annual Stars 1, 6, 8 and 9 and light them just before the time of arrival
2.    Open the windows or doors in these sectors so that the fire from the tea light candles can capture the auspicious Qi
3.    Ensure that the area is free from clutter and bad odors
If you weren’t able to welcome Cai Shen or celebrate Li Chun this year, then don’t worry as there is always next year. However it is still very important to locate and address the annual 2012 energies in your home to ensure that things remain harmonious and to enhance your wellbeing and prosperity for the year ahead. To assist you in this task I have outlined below the annual Stars, their location, influence and how best to address them. So get started now if you have not done so already and I hope that the Year Of the Dragon brings you much happiness, health and prosperity!
  • Star 1 is located in the South sector and signifies promotion and growth. If your door is facing South it will be auspicious for academic success and recognition
  • Place a bowl of clear water with 6 metal coins in the South sector of your home or place your desk here
  • Star 2 is located in the North sector and can bring sickness, loss, misfortune and obstacles
  • To combat this bad energy place a string of 6 Chinese coins or large metal object outside or by a window in the North sector
  • Alternativelyyou can also place a brass Wu Lou Gourd in this location and a gold or white coloured floor mat
  • Star 3 is located in the South West sector and can bring quarrels, legal problems and theft
  • Place a lamp or something red in this location
  • Star 4 is located in the East sector and if properly treated there is the potential for romance and academic success this year. However in some cases it can also increase the potential for marriage or romance problems
  • Place a vase of fresh flowers here for romance activation
  • Star 5 is located in the South East sector and can bring misfortune, financial problems, sickness and even sudden death
  • To combat this bad energy place a salt water cure in the South East sector. This can be done by placing a glass jar onto a terracotta saucer. Pour rock salt in the jar until it reaches three quarters full and then carefully place 6 Chinese coins on top of the salt. In addition place another silver coin in the centre, making sure that this does not belong to your local currency. Fill the glass jar to the top with water and ensure that the coins are fully covered
  • Star 6 is located in the Tai Ji or centre of your home and may bring about travel and promotion
  • A bowl of fresh still water may be placed in this area of your home
  • Star 7 is located in the North West sector and can bring gossip, sex scandal and robbery. Also known as a fire hazard star, this is an inauspicious energy to have, particularly in your kitchen so be extra careful when cooking your meals
  • To combat this bad energy place a glass vase of water with 3 to 4 pieces of Chinese Water Bamboo in the North West sector of the home.
  • Alternatively you can also place a glass bowl of water or a blue floor mat here
  •  Star 8 is located in the West sector and is one of the most auspicious energies for 2012. If your door is facing West then you may enjoy more opportunities for prosperity this year
  • Light candles or keep this area of your home active with a water feature, fan, television, computer or DVD player
  • Star 9 is located in the North East sector and is another auspicious energy that can bring achievement, growth, success and future prosperity. It can also bring joyous and happy events and if you have this in your bedroom it may even enhance your chance for having offspring
  • Light candles to activate business opportunities or place 9 red flowers and candles for romance and relationship

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